Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8
Studies have shown that New Year's resolutions are rarely kept. Within a few weeks, most New Year's goals have fallen by the wayside, replaced by a pan of brownies. But research has also shown that if the goals are small and achievable, they are more likely to be kept.
In the verse above, Paul urges us to turn our thoughts to positive things. Easier said than done, especially in society where we're bombarded by negative images, negative language, and negative attitudes. We put up our own shells of negativity, just to survive.
While it may be unrealistic to say, "I'm going to stop thinking negative thoughts," we can still make a conscious, achievable effort to think gentler, more noble thoughts. If we determine to replace each bad thought with a kinder, love-filled thought, we will find our stress reduces and peace increases.
Next time we catch ourselves thinking something negative about our job or our neighbor or a politician, let's try to replace that thought with a positive one. Before long, we'll re-train our brains to naturally turn to truth, purity, and excellence.
Dear Father, thank You for teaching me to focus on positive thoughts. Help me to think about things the way You do, with love, gentleness, kindness, and compassion. Amen.